Thirty-two percent of Americans could be seriously in debt, according to a new survey by the Personal Finance Employee Education Foundation. This serious level of financial stress could have an impact on productivity at work and cause health problems.

The new research re-validates the organization's Personal Financial Wellness Scale, which was previously validated in 2004. The scale measures financial well-being. In 2012, it determined that 32 percent of Americans remain financially at risk.

For those who were just getting by, the numbers increased by 16 percentage points from 28 percent in 2004 to 44 percent in 2012.

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